Top 10 tips for a happy conference call
- Preparation, preparation, preparation!
Be on time
- It’s always best to have an idea of what you want to say during the meeting or what you want to discuss, so make notes beforehand and make sure that you have them with you at the time of the call.
Make sure you’re comfortable
- Treat the conference call as if the other participants were right there in front of you and make sure that you’re punctual. Try to dial in a few minutes early if possible. If you’re running late and then there’s a problem with the connection it’s difficult to fix and make sure that you’re not late.
- If you need to visit the bathroom, then make sure that you do it before the call starts. Nothing’s worse than hopping from foot to foot with your legs crossed because you drunk too much coffee and didn’t go before the call started! And it would look a touch unprofessional to ask to be excused from the call.
Give it your full attention
- ConferenceLabs introduces you automatically you when you join the call, and also displays your connection to those using their visual interface, but nothing beats a friendly “Good morning/good afternoon!” and introducing yourself personally to the other participants. It means that they’ll be able to link a name with a voice more easily.
- Playing Angry Birds is great fun but it means that you’re not really listening to what’s being said and you’re not taking on board any of the discussions. Imagine someone suddenly addressing you and saying “Don’t you agree?” and having not the faintest clue what the conversation was about. Embarrassing, huh?
Record the call
- Writing down the salient points in a notebook will serve two purposes: it will help you to keep your focus during a long call and it will help to jog your memory after the call has ended as to what as to what the most important points were.
- ConferenceLabs allows you to record the call, which is a handy feature. This will allow you and the other participants to review what was said and also acts as a permanent record of what was said and by whom.
Keep it short, stupid!
- If you’re taking the call in the office then treat it like any other meeting and be sure to read the agenda and participate where necessary. If you’re taking the call at home be sure to apply the same level of professionalism. No one else on the call needs to hear your children watching Peppa Pig or listen to you eat your lunch.
Confirm outcomes by email
- Apply the KISS principle and make sure that you err on the side of brevity. If the meeting drags on then you will lose the attention and interest of the participants. Keep it short and concise and your colleagues will not come to dread your participation in conference calls.
- It is useful to send out email to the participants once the call has ended, thanking them for their attendance and highlighting any action points that now need to be put into place.